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Do Labor Market Opportunities Affect Young Women's Work and Family Decisions? Experimental Evidence from India

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  • Robert Jensen
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    Abstract

    Do labor market opportunities for women affect marriage and fertility decisions? We provided three years of recruiting services to help young women in randomly selected rural Indian villages get jobs in the business process outsourcing industry. Because the industry was so new at the time of the study, there was almost no awareness of these jobs, allowing us in effect to exogenously increase women's labor force opportunities from the perspective of rural households. We find that young women in treatment villages were significantly less likely to get married or have children during this period, choosing instead to enter the labor market or obtain more schooling or postschool training. Women also report wanting to have fewer children and to work more steadily throughout their lifetime, consistent with increased aspirations for a career. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 127 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 753-792

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:127:y:2012:i:2:p:753-792

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    1. Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2010. "Microeconomic Approaches to Development: Schooling, Learning, and Growth," Working Papers 985, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    2. Galor, Oded, 2004. "The Demographic Transition and the Emergence of Sustained Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 4714, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Jishnu Das & Stefan Dercon & James Habyarimana & Pramila Krishnan & Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2013. "School Inputs, Household Substitution, and Test Scores," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 29-57, April.
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    7. John Fitzgerald & Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1998. "An Analysis of the Impact of Sample Attrition on the Second Generation of Respondents in the Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 300-344.
    8. Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2009. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1057-1094, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Stephan E. Maurer & Andrei V. Potlogea, 2014. "Fueling the Gender Gap? Oil and Women's Labor and Marriage Market Outcomes," CEP Discussion Papers dp1280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Karthik Muralidharan & Nishith Prakash, 2013. "Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India," Working papers 2013-24, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    3. Ayako Wakano & Hiroyuki Yamada & Daichi Shimamoto, 2014. "Does the heterogeneity of project implementers affect the program participation of beneficiaries? : Evidence from rural Cambodia," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 14-21, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    4. Oster, Emily & Steinberg, Bryce Millett, 2013. "Do IT service centers promote school enrollment? Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 123-135.
    5. Isis Gaddis & Stephan Klasen, 2014. "Economic development, structural change, and women’s labor force participation:," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 639-681, July.
    6. Marcus Böhme, 2012. "Migration and Education Aspirations - Another Channel of Brain Gain?," Kiel Working Papers 1811, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    7. Francine D. Blau, 2013. "Comment on "The Female Labor Force and Long-run Development: The American Experience in Comparative Perspective"," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital in History: The American Record National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Carlos Chiapa & José Luis Garrido & Silvia Prina, 2010. "The effect of social programs and exposure to professionals on the educational aspirations of the poor," Serie documentos de trabajo del Centro de Estudios Económicos 2010-11, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos.
    9. Klasen, Stephan & Pieters, Janneke, 2013. "What Explains the Stagnation of Female Labor Force Participation in Urban India?," IZA Discussion Papers 7597, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Sonia R Bhalotra & Atheendar S Venkataramani, 2013. "Cognitive Development and Infectious Disease: Gender Difference in Investments and Outcomes," Economics Discussion Papers 745, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    11. Najy Benhassine & Florencia Devoto & Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Victor Pouliquen, 2013. "Turning a Shove into a Nudge? A “Labeled Cash Transfer” for Education," NBER Working Papers 19227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Heath, Rachel, 2014. "Women’s Access to Labor Market Opportunities, Control of Household Resources, and Domestic Violence: Evidence from Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 32-46.
    13. Chari, A.V. & Maertens, Annemie, 2014. "Gender, productive ability and the perceived returns to education: Evidence from rural India," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 253-257.
    14. Majlesi, Kaveh, 2014. "Labor Market Opportunities and Women's Decision Making Power within Households," Working Papers 2014:4, Lund University, Department of Economics.

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